Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Sunday, September 25, 2005

So It Begins

I've been viewing some of the new Fall shows and while its still early in the season...there are a few that stand out:

Supernatural - WB : Jason Ackles(Smallville) and Jared Padalecki(Gilmore Girls) - two WB hunks and part of the WB's staple of hott guys- sizzle up the small screen in this XFiles meets Route 66 hourlong drama. Directed by David Nutter( XFiles, Millenium, Smallville) The quips are fast paced and the pop culture references are abound....one of my favorites in the pilot eppy involved Jason's character walking past two FBI agents and with this "tude" and grins, he tips his head and says "Muldaur, Scully" as he walks past them. For those of you who didnt get the inside joke - David Nutter directed many of the XFiles eppys..including the pilot! And the show definately has that bizarre XFiles look and feel. Essentially two estranged brothers take off in a 67 Impala- searching for their dad - who taught them how to hunt supernatural phenomena - in the hope of understanding their mothers mysterious demise!

Well written..visually dark, emotionally moody, creepy and cool -with just the right amount of male and female sex appeal...and a hott soundtrack - this show smells like a hit! WB realized that "horror" is very IN at the box office..so it was a natural leap to bring the genre to the small screen.

I didnt want to like it.....but damn that it...resistance is futile - I love it!

"E-Ring" - A dramatic new show that looks at life behind the scenes at the Pentagon, starring Benjamin Bratt, is part of Hollywoods new found love for ALL things Military EXCEPT OUR MILITARY! - With "Over There", and "E-Ring" and several soon to be released feature films such as "Jarhead" "Annapolis" plus several in the works from "Brothers in Arms" to " Generation Kill" to "Death and Dishonour" to "The Battle for Falluja" it would seem that while the same Hollywood community which has rarely supported our military and has NEVER supported this war in Iraq nor never understood the purpose, the cause, and the bigger picture in the war on terrorism, has no qualms about attempting to profit from that of which they endlessly hate!

"E-Ring" might have been good if it didn't have such cheesy lines as" "we've got a nonya in the works. A nonya, sir? Yes as it Noneyadamnbusiness"
"Sir we COULD do this!" "Major"could" is irrelevant - we're America - we can do any damn thing we please -the question is " SHOULD we?"
"Once you learn how this building(the Pentagon) works - you'll understand that it is aset of 12 tribes all fighting for SeCDef's love - which equates to MONEY!"

The tension was palpatable towards the end..and its directed by Taylor Hackford..with the look of a feature film, and an intense pacing to match the intensity of Benjamin's character.

While I look for any reason to watch the eye candy that is Benjamin Bratt..."E-Ring" is too damn cheesy for me!

"Prison Break" - bar none the BEST one hour drama on tv this season. Its a feature film cut into 22 one hour segments. Directed by Brett Ratner, and starring the uber sexy Wentworth Miller(The Human Stain) its the story of a desperate man in a desperate situation! Michael Scofields bro- Lincoln ( Dominic Purcell - of John Doe, Blade and Trinity fame) is 30 days from being executed on Death Row...and Michael is convinced his brother is innocent. So he "breaks into prison" ( actually he stages a hold up and gets caught) in order to break out with his brother. Its exciting, elaborate, intense story telling that reveals an additional piece of the puzzle each week. Lets start with the fact that Michael is the structural engineer that built the prison and has the blueprints for the prison tatooed on his entire body. This is writing, storytelling, acting, directing, pacing, production design, and cinematography at its absolute best! I had the pleasure of meeting Dominic on the set of "John Doe" in Vancouver two years ago, and one of my former clients also stars in the series.
Great storytelling(screenwriting) is both an art form and a skill...when you are able to combine both...you then great a masterpiece.

"Prison Break" is a Masterpiece!

Returning Shows- Season Premieres:

"Smallville" - I am a Superman FANGIRL! The promos ran through "Supernatural"...and if the season is only HALF has exciting as the promos - its gonna be one helluva journey!

This IS the season that changes EVERYTHING! Both Clark and Lex fullfill their destinies! Clark unlocks the Fortress of Solitude, is given a new challenge to deal with, and makes a promise to Jor El ( his biological father) which will come back to haunt him, and Lex who has constantly fought his turn the dark side...finally loses that battle! The stage is set, the hour draws near....as two friends become mortal enemies!

But Clark won't be alone in dealing fighting against injustice.....this time a close friend will be working with him! Lois, Lana, and Chloe each come into their own this year...also realizing their ultimate destinies! And the Lex-Clark-Lana dynamic is also going to be played out!

Two more characters from the DC universe are set to appear - Brainiac and Aquaman.
Dean Cain and Tom Wopat, Carrie Fisher and James Marster are all rumoured to be appearing as guest stars.

You know where you'll find me Thursday night at 8:00pm.

And if that's not enough intensity on Thursday nite - "ALIAS" also airs at 8:00pm EST - but thanx to timeshifting..I can watch it at 11:00pm!

Season Five picks up where the best ever season finale left off ( I jumped out of my chair)and proves to be explosive and intense as Sydney learns that Vaughn is a double agent..and the father of her unborn child! Sloane creates an unholy alliance in an attempt to find a cure for his daughter, Nadia, still in a coma. New agents arrive and a nefarious organization comes into Sydneys already complicated life!

But TONITE is the night that I've waited for all summer! The Second Season Premiere of
Delicious, delightful, dastardly, and decadent!
The Ladies of Wisteria Lane are back...and so is the gardener. MEOOOOOWWW!
And people told me the 'burbs' are boring.......!!!!

Celebs, Suits, and Gawkers, Oh My !!

They were all in town...Freddy, Eva, Susan, Guy, Madonna, Orlando, Heath, Maggie, Keira, Charlize, Kate, Johnny, Pierce, Colin, and Kevin, Reese, Gwyeth,and way too many more to name. I looked around and for a moment felt disoriented...where was I??? The lack of palm trees is a sure sign I wasn't in LA...inhale... close eyes ....exhale.... open eyes.....ah yes....I' m in Yorkville, in downtown Toronto, and this is the annual Tinseltown invasion aka as The Toronto Film Festival.

Films, food, parties, booze, schmoozing and star gazing- for ten long days Toronto is turned into Tinseltown minus the palm trees. The temps hit record highs and the sun was shining on the stars who didn't wait until dark to come out!

Several of my friends - yes I do have friends in Hollywood - albeit not all of them share the same view on certain world events- had come into town for the festival. Between movie screenings and "see or be seen" parties, we managed to spend some quality time clothes shopping, shoe shopping, and sipping on cosmo's!

Let me take a moment to give you an example of the difference between my friends and others in Hollywood: At the Emmy's- a show deliberately slanted towards an anti Bush agenda (as evident by the clips many actors chose to air when their nominations were read) -one actress -Ms Paltrow's Mom- chose to make one kind of statement " to our kids in Iraq - let's get you the hell out of there now".

Yet another actresss - Ms.Arquette- simply said " To our guys in Iraq - I know your there and Im over here...(she paused- clearly collecting her thoughts) but WHEN you come home.... I hope you come home safe".Eloquent, poignant, spontaneous, heartfelt, and didn't smack of ANY political leaning. If only her many fellow thespians would take note! This is also an example of how my friends feel: When our troups come home......let them come home safe!

While I chose to skip the annual CityTv schmoozefest held the first Friday of the film festival to celebrate the Canadian film that is chosen to open the festival( which was" Fire"by acclaimed director Deepa Mehta - who I used to work for) I did attend the benefit hosted by Kate Hudson at the Distillery, and Norman Jewisons annual "Picnic" held at his Canadian Film Center-a private home turned Film School on a huge piece of property. The event is held outdoors with tents set up that house the food and alot tables under the sun to sit and schmooze - it's "earthy" not pretentious, even the celebs act normal!

Beyond that, I enjoyed "quiet" dinners with my friends, as quiet as a restaurant crowded with celebs, suits, socialites, and gawkers can be. But mostly, I fended off questions:

"So when is your self imposed exile from Hollywood going to end?"
(what part of NEVER does everyone not understand?)

"You LEFT the biz??? Why???" ( I hear the strains of "Hotel California" running through my head ..." you can check out but you can never leave")
I know leaving the "biz" is unthinkable at worst and scary at best....but trust me...there is LIFE beyond "the biz" - besides now I get all the perks and NONE of the problems!

"Who does your hair colour....it's awesome"
(Thank you..my colourists name is "Ms.Clair All") Okay Im joking..I do have a colourist, stylist and wardrobe consultant - oh hell -you can take this girl out of Hollywood-but you can't Hollywood out of this girl (*grin*)

"Are those Manohalas or Jimmy Choo?"
(Do they design EVERY pair of 4 inch stilettos??)

"Can you believe the studio was so cheap they only gave me a Town Car??"
(damn..lifes a bitch!)

"You LEFT the biz??"( it's an oft repeated question so I thought I'd repeat it!)
(yupp..hard to believe...a moment of insanity prevailed...what was I thinking??")

"Can you believe my publicist had to pay $400 for a table at the Skylounge so I could do interviews to promote my small inde film?"
(Be grateful you're not an "A" list celeb...their publicists had to pay $1500 for the same table!)
Ooops - nothing like pointing out a reality most actors can't face up to...NOT being on the "A" list anymore!!

Dawn Steele wrote about her life in Hollywood as a powerful Studio president and producer, in a book called "They Can Eat You For Lunch, But They Can't Kill You" and while they can't literally kill you, in a business where people make you feel bad so they can feel good, they can sure kill your spirit. It may not always be easy to handle success in Hollywood, but its even more challenging to handle failure.

In a very funny piece written by Mireille Silcoff - she described one social animal in our midst- "Mad Celebrity, 2005 Edition".

Natural habitat: The tabloids
Average age: 27

Was once a "buxom beauty" (code for downright porky) before becomig "svelte"(read"deathly skeletal")

Recently seen going into a fertility clinic in London ("the hot place to plan your baby!") but no sign of a "bump"yet, though "insiders" say the the MC/05 has already "ordered 3000 gallons of Fiji water" to fill her Mailbu swimming pool for an underwater delievery ("the hottest way to have your baby!")

But WHO is the loving father? The MC/05 has been sending out mixed messages through cute cropped T-shirts, including the now classic "I'll have your baby, Brad" (has since made a public apology to Jen) and the more recent and infinitely dumber "Colin is Irish for Greek god".

Some think the baby rumour is the MC/05 trying to divert attention from the obviously surgically amplified breast she bared "by accident" at the Golden Globes while slaughtered on OxyContini and alcopops two weeks after her actor beau of 3 months dumped her-they were "really serious" (translation: was caught "heavily canoodling" with a nanny in St.Tropez.)

Denies any connection to Scientology.

Denies she fired her manager because the Scientology Center forced her to do so!

Denies that maybe she had a little nip of OxyContin("Drugs are in my past!") before doing the "stirring the pot" dance on Oprah's sofa for a full minute after being asked how she 's doing these days.

Photographed perplexingly often in LA supermarket parking lots, barefoot, and carrying a large coffee beverage.

Must run...my stylist is waiting for me....air kisses, kids....love you*waves* love your lifestyle CIAO!


Never Bite The Hand That Feeds You!

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post both about and directed to Cindy Sheehan who chose celebrity over sincerity. At that time the democrats and their left wing ilk, jumped all over Cindy, turning her into their new Bush Hating Poster Mom, embracing her hatred for the President, and using her to further their liberal Bush hating terrorist loving agenda. They claimed she represented the voice of all mothers and fathers who had lost a son or daughter in Iraq.

Except she doesn't...as is evidenced in this story "Families of Troups Counter Sheehan"

But, faster than Kerry can flipflop, it would appear that the Dumocrats who embraced Cindy while condemning those of us who saw through her facade of grieving mom, have NOW distanced themselves from her!

Why this sudden about face?

Well it would appear that the moment Cindy spewed her vitrolic insanity in the direction of Hilary Clinton. Hilary has been a vocal supporter of the war in Iraq,and the removal of Saddam, altho but she has also expressed her anger at what she believes has been the administration's mismanagement of the war from the beginning. But that wasn't enough to appease that wingnut Cindy. She decided to bite the hand that feeds her!

NOW that Cindy has indicted a member of the party that turned her into a poster child, it would appear that those in Hilary Clinton's camp, and various other democrats, have suddenly taken a major DISLIKING towards Cindy, as they are left to concede what MOST of us knew all along: Cindy Sheehan is nothing more than a bitter lonely woman who continues to choose celebrity over sincerity; a selfish woman seeking publicity rather than a grieving mother seeking peace.

UPDATE: AFSister attended the "You Don't Stand For Me, Cindy" rally in Cincinatti, and shares her experience and some great pics.

Friday, September 23, 2005

First WIRED now TIME....Rock On!

The milblogger that Blackfive referred to as a "rock star'', Thunder6 , has received special mention in TIME Online and TIME Print.

He'll be adding more 'rangerettes" to his already long list!


Saturday, September 17, 2005

Failures at Every Turn

Im so incensed at the inane comments made by DUMOCRATS in office, Kanye West, his fans, and all those who insist on turning the failures at all levels of government into a finger pointing Bush blaming orgy. And Im equally incest at ANYONE who has turned this into a "race" issue when clearly its an issue of "class" NOT "color"

To that effect I am going to reprint a Knight Ridder syndicated piece of great investigative reporting that has clearly gone UNNOTICED by Dumocrats, Black Americans, Liberals, the Media, and the Hollywood Bush Bashing bores...such as Sean(Have Photographer will travel) Penn, and Kenye(its all about ME) West.

Katrina: Failure at every turn

Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina crashed into the Gulf coast, there is little argument that the response was botched. But an extensive Knight Ridder review of official actions in the days just before and after Katrina's landfall Monday, Aug. 29, reveals a depth of government hesitancy and a not-my-job attitude that may have cost scores of people their lives.

The Department of Homeland Security, facing its first major catastrophe since it was created, failed to issue a critical disaster declaration until more than a day after the storm. The White House never appointed a coordinator to monitor disaster developments.

Though several government agencies were certain by 6 p.m. on Monday that New Orleans' levee system had given way, no official screamed for urgent help when daylight hours might still have permitted a rescue effort.

By that time, water had been pouring from the damaged 17th Street Canal for perhaps as long as 15 hours. A National Guard Bureau timeline places the breach at 3 a.m. Monday and an Army Corps of Engineers official said a civilian phoned him about the problem at 5 a.m., saying he had heard about it from a state policeman.

But officials sounded no alarm until Tuesday morning, after the city had been flooding for at least 24 hours.

No one knows how many people might have survived Katrina if officials had responded more aggressively. The official death toll in Louisiana and Mississippi is now at 365, at least some of whom died in the sweltering heat of the Superdome or awaiting evacuation from flooded hospitals.

Scores of others may have drowned unnecessarily in their homes. In Mississippi, some may have been lulled into complacency by memories that they'd survived the last great Gulf storm, Camille. In New Orleans, others were cut off by the torrent unleashed by the collapse of levees that were never designed to withstand a Category 4 hurricane like Katrina.

But what's clear is that four years after terrorists, on another late summer day, flew hijacked aircraft into buildings in New York and Washington, the United States is no better prepared to respond to catastrophe — even when it comes with days of public anticipation and warning.

A final accounting of what went wrong and what went right will take months, perhaps longer. Some agencies performed splendidly: the Coast Guard launched rescue missions of people trapped by the flooding as soon as the weather permitted.

But it's already clear that a multitude of local, state and federal officials and agencies failed the people in Katrina's path.

The federal Department of Homeland Security, established in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, waited until 36 hours after Katrina struck to declare it an "incident of national significance." The never-before-used disaster designation was established in the post-9/11 National Response Plan to mobilize the full strength of the federal government, including the military, to deal with a catastrophe.

The Pentagon, even as it moved its own people and equipment out of the storm's way, remained aloof. A 1993 report by the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, concluded that the Department of Defense "is the only organization capable of providing, transporting and distributing sufficient quantities of items needed" in a catastrophe such as Katrina.

Cargo planes had been put on alert, but Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld took in a baseball game in San Diego on Monday night, Aug. 29, while floodwaters inundated New Orleans. The military didn't set up a task force to respond until Wednesday, Aug. 31, two days after landfall. By then, Katrina was little more than a rainstorm over Ohio.

Before landfall, President Bush, on vacation in Crawford, Texas, was briefed repeatedly on the storm's progress. He was deeply engaged, issuing disaster relief orders, talking to the governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, and, on the Sunday before landfall, urging citizens in Katrina's path to seek safety.

But no member of the White House staff was assigned responsibility for tracking federal actions and no senior-level official was given oversight responsibilities. Asked in an e-mail who had been in charge at the White House as the storm bore down, administration spokeswoman Dana Perino replied, "Overall, the president is in charge at the White House."

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, its top ranks filled by political appointees and its budget hit by deep cuts, seemed unable to grasp the magnitude of the disaster. On the day after the storm, FEMA director Michael Brown met in Biloxi, Miss., with Gov. Haley Barbour, a former Republican National Committee chairman, and told him not to worry, because FEMA had had lots of hurricane practice in Florida. "I don't think you've seen anything like this," Barbour responded. "We're talking nuclear devastation."

Brown was removed Friday from overseeing disaster response and replaced with a Coast Guard admiral.

Both Barbour and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco, a Democrat, also seemed not to understand the size of the storm headed their way when they issued their first National Guard call-ups — Barbour, on Friday night, and Blanco, on Saturday morning.

Barbour summoned only about 1,000 troops initially, according to Mississippi National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Tim Powell, and placed another 600 on standby. That number was consistent with what the state had needed 36 years earlier after Camille, but it was inadequate given the gambling-fueled boom that had brought tens of thousands of new residents to the coast.

Blanco's contingent was larger, 4,000, but it was dwarfed by the more than 30,000 that eventually would be summoned to help.

Both Louisiana and Mississippi successfully employed so-called contra-flow plans that turned super highways one-way out of the coastal area, to speed evacuation. New Orleans officials were pleased that 80 percent of the city's population had reached safety before the storm hit. But neither state had made any provision for getting people without cars out of the danger zone.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, after receiving the direst of warnings in a dinner-time phone call at home from National Hurricane Center Director Max Mayfield a day-and-a-half before landfall, delayed issuing a mandatory evacuation order for 15 hours. He finally told residents that the storm surge "most likely will topple our levee system" at 10 o'clock Sunday morning, when Katrina was on his city's doorstep.

Nagin wasn't alone in his hesitancy, however. In Harrison County, Miss., where Biloxi is located, Civil Defense Director Joe Spraggins, in his job less than a month, also declined to order an evacuation on Saturday, saying he wanted to wait to see what the storm did. A mandatory evacuation order came Sunday. The state's emergency management director, Bob Latham, worried that residents wouldn't evacuate because of false alarms in the past.

Perhaps the most startling failure came in the reaction — or the apparent lack of one — from federal, state and local officials to the discovery that New Orleans' fragile levee system had collapsed hours before Katrina even made landfall. Engineers and emergency planners had warned for years that such a collapse would be catastrophic for the below-sea-level city and the people who lived there.

Yet reports of the breach failed to spark action. The commander of the New Orleans district of the Army Corps of Engineers, Col. Richard P. Wagenaar, finally confirmed that a breach had occurred between 3 and 6 p.m. Monday and reported it to headquarters in Vicksburg, Miss.

The mayor had told reporters during a 1 p.m. news conference that there was an unconfirmed report of a levee break, but he quickly turned to other topics. Shortly before nightfall, a FEMA official, back from a helicopter survey of the city, reported the breach to his colleagues in Baton Rouge, then broke the news to the mayor.

Still no concerted effort was made to reach the thousands of people whose houses were rapidly filling with water. As many crawled from their flooded bedrooms into attics, and some hacked their way onto their roofs, much of the world went to sleep thinking that New Orleans had survived the worst.

Not until Tuesday dawned, and morning news show anchors expressed surprise that the once-dry streets around them were filling with water, did the magnitude of the disaster become evident.

There were many other instances of bungling. Federal officials, accustomed to serving a supportive but not commanding role in a disaster, waited for specific requests from state and local officials. Local officials, overwhelmed, trapped by the devastation around them, and unable to survey the damage, couldn't gather the information they needed to make specific requests. Radio communication was impossible and phone service as bad.

"You don't have to be a genius to know when the storm hits, you're going to need water, food, diesel, gasoline, evacuation needs, helicopters, boats, medicine," said Terry Ebbert, New Orleans' director of homeland security. "So why does someone call me up when I don't have any communications and ask me, 'What do I need?' The system needed to go into automatic."

Determining what took place in the aftermath of Katrina is a daunting task. No single person or agency has a bird's-eye view of everything that happened, and memories quickly fade for officials who've been working non-stop for days with little sleep. Many are uncertain what day of the week it is. Others are deeply enmeshed in rescue work and can't be reached.

Some information is unavailable — the Department of Homeland Security, for example, was unable to provide an accounting of Secretary Michael Chertoff's comings and goings in the days immediately before and after the storm — and with a series of investigations likely, some accounts smack of political damage control.

Still, Knight Ridder reporters in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as Washington and California, found many officials willing to talk at length about preparations and responses. All but one of the interviews were on the record.

Knight Ridder reporters also interviewed experts on evacuation plans, examined government studies of past disaster responses, read reports about New Orleans' levee system, and reviewed their own notes for accounts of events they had witnessed.

Once the Hurricane Center drew the bull's-eye on New Orleans, at 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, officials reacted quickly, at least in terms of saying all the necessary words.

On Friday night, Gov. Blanco declared a state of emergency in Louisiana. Barbour did the same in Mississippi. President Bush backed up each declaration with a federal declaration of his own, for Louisiana on Saturday, for Mississippi on Sunday.

But because of a clerical error, the federal emergency declaration for Louisiana omitted 24 parishes, the state's equivalent of counties, including ones such as Orleans and Jefferson that were likely to be hit the hardest. While the mistake had no practical impact, it was a sign of what was to come.

Both states activated their national guards. Local officials issued evacuation orders, some mandatory, some voluntary, and both states made the interstate highways one way, heading away from the coast.

On Saturday evening, around dinnertime, the Hurricane Center's Mayfield made a round of phone calls to top state and local officials. He wanted to impress on them the severity of what was about to happen — and to be able to go to sleep that night knowing that he'd done everything in his power to save lives.

One of his calls went to Mayor Nagin in New Orleans. Earlier in the day, the mayor had asked residents to leave. But his order was voluntary, not mandatory, and residents understood the distinction. Worried about such matters as the city's liability in ordering hotels and other businesses to shut down, Nagin had been reluctant to take the next step.

Now Mayfield told Nagin, who was having dinner at home with his wife and 6-year-old daughter, that this was the worst hurricane he'd ever seen and that public officials ought to do everything in their power to get people out of the way.

"It scared the crap out of me," Nagin recalled. "I immediately said, `My God, I have to call a mandatory evacuation.'"

Still, he hesitated. About 130,000 New Orleans residents lived below the poverty line, and he knew that he didn't have adequate shelter space or public transportation available to get the poor out of town. And what about hospitals? Should they be exempted? He and the city's lawyers wrestled with the issues through the night.

It was 10 a.m. Sunday morning before Nagin went on television and issued the order. People who couldn't get out on their own could board city buses at 12 locations for transport to the Louisiana Superdome, the shelter of last resort, he said.

As he was speaking, the National Weather Service at 10:11 a.m. issued a warning that Katrina, by then a Category 5 storm — the most severe, with winds of 155 mph or more — would make most of southeast Louisiana "uninhabitable for weeks, perhaps longer." The forecast predicted "human suffering incredible by modern standards."

By bus and by foot, as many as 25,000 people streamed to the Superdome. FEMA before the storm had dropped off 90,000 liters of water and 43,776 MREs at the Superdome, a place neither the state of Louisiana nor the city of New Orleans had planned to stock with food or water.

Why not? According to Art Jones, division chief of the disaster recovery division of the Louisiana Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, the idea was that the Superdome should be the shelter of last resort, not a place where people would stay.

The elements, of course, would have something to say about that.

Asked what lessons he learned, Jones replied that the state needs to rethink what "mandatory" evacuation means.

At the Army Corps of Engineers headquarters near Tulane University in central New Orleans, the phone call came into the bunker at 5 a.m. Monday, just as the storm was blasting the city. The caller said that there was a breach in the levee along the 17th Street Canal, which runs along the boundary between Orleans and East Jefferson parishes.

No news could have been worse. The levees were the reason that a Category 4 or 5 hurricane hitting the city had long been considered one of the nation's most likely catastrophes-in-waiting.

Most of the bowl-shaped city sat below sea level. Once the levees broke, the bowl would fill. And the levees weren't in great shape.

There was no way to get to the levee, at least not then. The storm was so fierce that even the bunker — which had walls five inches thick and was anchored to a concrete pad inside a steel warehouse — was shaking.

But the bunker was not the only place with the news. Mayor Nagin told reporters there were unconfirmed reports of a breach on the 17th Street Canal during a 1 p.m. news conference. But he couldn't be sure, and he didn't sound too concerned, talking more about a burst water main and suggesting that life would return to normal in a matter of days.

Finally, at 3 p.m., with the worst of the storm having passed, the engineers ventured out to see if they could drive to the canal across town and confirm the damage. They circled around, until they ran into 10 or 15 feet of water near where I-10 meets I-610.

"It was just a lake there," said Col. Wagenaar, the corps' district commander. "My first reaction was, `Wow, we are in trouble.' I knew that amount of water should not be at that location that fast. At that point, we considered it confirmed. We knew something was wrong."

When he returned to his office, Wagenaar notified his superiors at the Corps' headquarters in Vicksburg that the levee had failed, then wrote a formal situation report, which he filed by e-mail around 7:30 p.m. What happened to that report is unclear, Corps spokesman John Rickey said.

At about the same time, Marty Bahamonde, a FEMA spokesman who'd spent the day at the Superdome, told the mayor what he'd seen from a Coast Guard helicopter. He described the surge of water as "surprising in its intensity."

"The mayor was devastated," Bahamonde said. "He knew his city was damaged beyond what they'd realized. There were women in the room crying. It was a very emotional meeting."

Bahamonde, who said he doesn't know what Nagin did with the information, managed to get a phone call through to the FEMA team in Baton Rouge and gave them the bad news. It's not clear what the FEMA team did either.

Why the news of the first breach — several others were visible by dawn Tuesday — didn't produce a bigger response baffles Ivor van Heerden. As the head of a hurricane center at Louisiana State University, he oversaw a simulation last year, known as Hurricane Pam, in which a slow-moving Category 3 storm swamped the city.

"What's very obvious," van Heerden said, "is that the powers that be either didn't recognize how bad the flooding would be from breached levees or totally misunderstood what the impacts would be."

By Tuesday, Aug. 30, the focus was on FEMA.

With New Orleans flooded and the extent of the devastation in such Mississippi cities as Biloxi and Gulfport becoming clear, FEMA's few publicly available reports show that it was deploying eight additional disaster medical assistance teams, each with 35 members; that it had sent emergency crews to check out possible oil spills; that it was working with the Department of Agriculture to provide food and water, and with Health and Human Services to supply doctors and medicine.

That was about it.

FEMA director Brown had flown into Baton Rouge on Sunday and had ridden out the storm at the state operations center there, confident that adequate preparations had been made. His agency had pre-positioned ice, water and Meals-Ready-to-Eat in three layers, in the storm zone, in adjacent states, and at pre-existing logistical centers in Atlanta and Denton, Texas. But getting the supplies distributed was proving to be a daunting challenge.

Critics of the agency, many of whom used to work there, said the response was inadequate but not surprising. Under the Bush administration, they said, FEMA had been reduced to a shadow of its former self, its budget gutted, its authority sapped.

One problem, they said, was structural. Before Sept. 11, FEMA had been an independent, cabinet-level agency devoted to coordinating the federal response to natural disasters. Now, it was part of the vast, new Department of Homeland Security, with its focus more on acts of terrorism than acts of nature.

Chertoff, the department's secretary and a former appeals court judge who has also served as an attorney for the Senate committee investigating the Whitewater matter, hadn't been hired for his expertise in natural disasters. In the days after Katrina, he said, "the collapse of a significant portion of the levee leading to the fast flooding of the city was not envisioned." In fact, the simulation exercise that predicted the flooding was paid for by FEMA, and experts had been forecasting a levee collapse for years.

FEMA itself was light on experience and heavy with political appointees, starting with Brown, a lawyer who'd worked for an Arabian horse association before coming to the agency, first as general counsel, then as deputy director, then director.

Of the top 10 natural-disaster jobs listed on FEMA's Web site, five were occupied by individuals with no prior disaster experience. In addition, 14 of the top 25 posts were being filled on a temporary basis or by someone working two senior jobs at the same time.

"If the chain of command is riddled with inexperience and impermanence, then you've got a recipe for inaction and indecision, which is precisely what you can't tolerate in FEMA," said Paul C. Light, a professor at New York University who has written 18 books on how the federal government operates.

Homeland Security officials acknowledge they were struggling to come to grips with the problems on the ground. On Monday, Bush, while flying from his ranch to California, had made major emergency disaster declarations for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, freeing up federal funds.

But there was one step that the government had failed to take in this new, post-9/11 emergency system: issuing an "incident of national significance" declaration. That would make disaster recovery a national responsibility.

Sometime in the late afternoon or early evening on Tuesday, Chertoff made the declaration, but no public announcement was made until Wednesday. Homeland Security spokesman Russ Knocke said no specific event triggered the decision, just an avalanche of problems.

"There are extraordinary frustrations within the department," he said.

From the outset, it was clear that this was the sort of disaster that would require the intervention of the active-duty military - the arm of the government with the most personnel, the most resources, and the most equipment.

That intervention, when it came, would prove critical in turning the tide.

FEMA's initial request for military help did not come until Tuesday, Aug. 30, the day after the storm, according to a Defense Department official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. It was for two helicopters for flyovers.

The military's Task Force Katrina, based at Camp Shelby, Miss., under Army Lt. Gen. Russell Honore, wasn't activated until Wednesday. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld ordered the move after the Department of Homeland Security made its "incident of national significance" declaration.

The military, however, was prepared to act quickly.

On Aug. 19, the Joint Chiefs of Staff placed responsibility for any hurricane season relief under the U.S. Northern Command, which was created after the attacks of Sept. 11 to oversee homeland defense, among other things.

In subsequent days, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense Paul McHale asked his staff to look at what the department might be asked to do if Katrina became a problem and for inventories of supplies. Military units took steps to protect themselves. On Friday, Aug. 26, 74 hours before landfall, 700 Marines stationed at the Marine Reserve Headquarters in New Orleans were ordered evacuated.

On Monday, Aug. 29, as the storm hit the Gulf Coast, the Northern Command designated bases for FEMA's use. But not until Wednesday was Joint Task Force Katrina activated and the go-ahead given.

The military had an immediate impact. Air Force combat air controllers had the New Orleans International Airport reopened by Friday, Sept. 2, when evacuations of the critically ill began.

The USS Bataan, an amphibious assault ship, arrived off Louisiana and began search and rescue missions. Five Air Force helicopters from the 920th Rescue Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, Fla., and the 347th Rescue Wing from Moody Air Force Base, Ga., began flying search and rescue missions in Mississippi. Eight helicopters from the Army's 1st Cavalry Division at Ft. Hood, Texas, arrived in New Orleans.

Even a U-2 spy plane was pressed into service, providing aerial images to FEMA officials trying to assess the region's destruction.

Officials in Mississippi, which, unlike Louisiana, has a Republican governor, have been reluctant to criticize federal officials. But the state, which may have been hit harder than its neighbor by the storm itself, has had plenty of problems.

"We haven't gotten the supplies we need at times," said Robert Latham, who runs the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency. "We've been getting 10 to 15 percent of what we have been requesting [from FEMA]."

In anticipation of the storm, Gov. Barbour positioned 1,000 National Guard troops at Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg, about 60 miles inland. Hattiesburg and other upland areas, though, suffered significant damage, slowing the response. Troops had to cut their way out of Camp Shelby with chain saws on Monday.

After surveying the damage along the coast on Tuesday, Adjutant Gen. Harold Cross, the commander of the Mississippi National Guard, got permission to call up the remainder of the state's guard troops.

He asked the Pentagon's National Guard Bureau for another 11,000 troops, which would give him 15,000 in all. He wasn't sure that would be enough.

The state had food, water and ice left over from Hurricane Dennis earlier this year. The guard distributed them on Wednesday — until they ran out. Cross asked for more supplies from FEMA and was told that nothing would be immediately available.

"There were people waving signs on roofs that said, 'Send Food,'" he said.

Rather than wait for FEMA, he contacted the Pentagon's Northern Command. The military responded, airlifting meals-ready-to-eat into Gulfport on Thursday.

For all the criticism that's been directed at the decision-makers at every level, it's important not to forget how daunting the aftermath of Katrina was.

The storm will be remembered by the numbers: the death toll, the homes wiped out, the cost of rebuilding, and the amount of time the city and port of New Orleans were out of business. But dealing with its aftermath was an extraordinary challenge for all concerned.

The communication breakdown made coordination difficult. No one, including Mayor Nagin, seemed to know that there were thousands of people at the New Orleans Convention Center, desperate for sustenance and protection, until television showed the scene (and the dead bodies) on Thursday.

The disaster deprived local communities, especially New Orleans, of many of their first responders. Some police officers and firefighters were trapped or dead or occupied with their own families. Some simply abandoned their jobs, contributing to the breakdown of law and order.

The flooding in and around the city caused all sorts of logistical problems.

In Louisiana, there was plenty of food and water in the affected areas, some of it courtesy of FEMA. But officials had no way to distribute it.

"We don't distribute house-to-house," said National Guard Col. Jay Mayeaux, who served as the logistics chief for the disaster response.

On Thursday of hurricane week, the American Red Cross begged to be allowed to go in to do the distribution. National director Marty Evans made a personal plea to Louisiana Gov. Blanco. But state officials said to wait for better conditions.

Finally, on Friday, the long-sought reinforcements arrived. A military convoy plowed through the waters of New Orleans and made it to the Convention Center.

Within minutes, the facility was secure; in a matter of hours, the needy were being cared for; in a day, the place was empty, its former residents off to more secure locations. And now the people were in place to distribute the food and continue with the slow work of evacuating the city.

When the time comes for the postmortems, and it will, one big question will be one that Nagin posed during hurricane week: "How many people died as a result of us not having the resources to get them water, to get them pulled out of harm's way quick enough to get them evacuated out of this city?"


How many people died because you, Mayor Nagin, failed to be a leader.
You failed to take action out of fear of being "sued" by establishments motivated by money and greed rather than by human decency- lives being more important than the almighty dollar.

How many people died because as a leader you failed to understand that the risk of a lawsuit DOES NOT OUTWIEGH the risk of saving lives.
You chose money over lives. Then decided to point blame everywhere but at yourself. Take some responsibility for your inepitude.

And when does the ENTIRE corrupt body of Louisianna politicians become accountable for the years of bribes, and corruption that prevented tax payers money being used to fund levee reinforcement that would have prevented countless deaths....when are ALL those people going to be held accountable for the loss of lives and property that resulted from levee breaches and from inadequate equipment being available to all local first responders in a scenario that had been PREDICTED for decades. True, some are now in jail...but just as many are NOT. So while the fingerpointing goes on, lets look closely at how many of those politicians are black and democrats!!

A Black mayor - who ran on the "man who is one of the people" platform- wonders how many people could have been saved IF ONLY......but the IF ONLY fails to include "IF ONLY the mayor had planned better, and provided strong leadership instead of being so damn inept at both planning and leadership. ..yet NO Black americans, be they Kanye West, or Al Sharpton, or Jesse Jackson, or Oprah Winfrey, have yet to even whisper the fact that a BLACK man screwed up.....instead they have the audacity to play aim the "race" card at Pres. Bush.

What a sad sorry group of people blinded by their own prejudices and lack of willingness to look at the failures of one of their OWN people, Mayor Nagin. I have alot of respect for Oprah...but even she has proven that educated successful people are oblvious to the truth about those who have so very little.

The issue we should all be addressing isn't COLOUR, its CLASS. Let the black community start by admitting than a man of their colour screwed up BIG time. Just because Mayor Nagin is black does NOT exempt him from being held accountable for HIS Failures by everyone including those who share the same colour skin as him. If they want to play the race card..I'd say look at how they have tried to stack the deck against a WHITE President while DEFLECTING responsibility away from a BLACK Mayor. If that isn't racist...then water isn't wet!

Friday, September 09, 2005

From Dictatorship To Democracy

From one of the most BALANCED pieces I've read in the LA Times, Sadr City Success Story, comes a piece of insight from an Iraqi named Kadhem, that seems to elude the dumocrats, the MSM elites, and the Hollywood fuckwits.

"Things are different. Before, we felt afraid. Now, there is freedom and we feel there will be a solution and it will be better," he said. "At this stage, we have to endure.

"The change from a dictatorship to a democracy is not easy"

Check out the entire story. It's rare when we get something fair and balanced on Iraq from the left wing media!

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Of Pride and Arrogance

" In general, pride is at the bottom of all great mistakes."- John Ruskin.
“Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” -Proverbs 16:18

The CBC - (Canadian Broadcasting Corp) - home to spoiled talentless elitist journalists, is once again undergoing a strike. The journalists want job guarantees, and no part time or contract workers hired, and assorted other nonsense.

This in and of itself wouldnt be so outrageous except that the CBC has viturally no audience, and is subsidized by taxpayers money!

No one gives a rats ass about this network. In it's day, it had a very necessary purpose. To provide local programming targeting key markets that would never have been served by private broadcasters, who depended on larger more homogenized target markets to sustain ad revenue.But today, with a universe that offers up well over 1000 channels that cater to specific niche markets, offering the kind of programming that the CBC should offer but doesnt, a gov't subsidized network is no longer necessary.

If it can't bring in ad revenues, then it should suffer the same fate as any tv show that fails to attract an audience....CANCELLATION!

About 1% of the viewing population watches CBC news. No one cares about their elitist," we are the best news organization" delusions of grandeur from which these journalists suffer! I sure as hell do not want my tax dollars going into the pockets of these arrogant fucks who serve no useful purpose, and are under the misguided assumption that their shit doesnt stink, and they walk on water.

As for all the "original and unique programming" that is allegedly part of the CBC's mandate- it doesnt exist - it's an illusion! The most unique and original programming today is found on cable and pay tv, while programming to appeal to any number of tastes and niche markets, can now be found on private networks!

Time to put the CBC to rest...PERMANENTLY! Let's use the money to help our ailing health care and education systems.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Summer Magic Disappears

A recent article in the NYT focused on the Hollywood box office slump experienced this summer. Both revenues and attendance figures were lower than last summer. So troubled by this, that several studio execs came together to discuss what might be responsible for this continual decline.

Multiple theories for the decline abound: a failure of studio marketing, the rising price of gas, the lure of alternate entertainment, even the prevalence of commercials and pesky cellphones inside once-sacrosanct theaters. But many movie executives and industry experts are beginning to conclude that something more fundamental is at work: Too many Hollywood movies these days, they say, just are not good enough.

Ain't that the truth!

Perhaps a few other theories should be included:

1) How about the fact that the Hollywood elites are out of touch with mainstream Americans.They have angered, annoyed, frustrated, demeaned, insulted, and been condescending to the majority of Americans who harbour more conservative, republican view points, opinions, political preferences, and lifestyles, and who are not secularists, but instead have a relationship with God, (something liberal Hollywood can't seem to fathom as being anything but archaic) and in doing so, Hollywood has DRIVEN AWAY moviegoers!

2) the scripts suck

3) the acting sucks

4) the storylines are boring rehashed liberal viewpoints being shoved down the throats of conservative Americans

5) Hollywood's vocal opposition and hatred of this President, his administration, his values, his relationship with God, and by fiat, all those who support the President, and the war on terror.

6) The public breakdown of Tom Cruise

7) The less than stellar, spoiled rock star mentality and actions of various celebs i.e. Russell Crowe

8) The OVER EXPOSURE of celebs in every freaking area of our lives.

9) A marketing savvy audience - who is tired of being marketed to!

10) the vocal hatred for President Bush, his administration, the war on terror and the unabashed support of dictators like Saddam, Castro, The Mullahs in Iran, and of course, the insurgents themselves, who the Hollywood elites view as "freedom fighters"!

You'll note a recurring theme in my reasons!

Bob Iger, Chairman of Disney, has it right, when he says "we can't allow tradition to stand in the way of where the consumer can go, or wants to go," he told analysts this month, warning that "the music industry learned this the hard way."

Bob was referring to the backlash he received from theatre chain owners about his idea of releasing films in theaters and on DVD SIMULTANEOUSLY. He is right: simultaneous releases WILL have to happen. If you ask me, in less than 10 years, theatres will be obsolete and irrelevant!I doubt they will exist...certainly NOT in their present format! Today, we have a whole generation of kids who now watch films on their computers!

I personally haven't set foot in a theatre in almost a year.Why should I??
I can watch anything I want anytime I want.....in my home.

No line ups, no people talking through the movie, no cellphones ringing during the movie, and I don't have to endure the smell of food I dislike, coupled with the sound of people MUNCHING LOUDLY on their food.

Instead, I can stay at home, in my pj's, eating what I want to eat; and with my PVR, I am the Mistress of my Domain - LOL! (get your mind out of the gutter!!)

So, with bad storylines, over exposed celebrities, overused themes, overused effects, and mediocre acting at best....combined with Hollywood elites who view the majority of conservative Americans with distain and condescention...does it come as ANY surprise that box office attedance and revenues keep declining??

I really hope some important lessons are learned by those power brokers in Hollywood:
The first one being that Liberal secularism and moral relativism does NOT represent the mainstream viewpoint. FULL STOP!

Maybe if the Hollywood elites MET the majority of Americans even halfway and wrote films that reflected conservative values and political perspectives in a more balanced way, it would be a good first step to helping recapture lost revenues and increase attendance.


Saturday, September 03, 2005

Setting The Record Straight

Let me offer up in detail the extent of the Federal efforts that had been in play prior to and by August 31st!

-FEMA had deployed 39 Disaster Medical Assistance Teams from all across the United States to staging areas in Alabama, Tennessee, Texas and Louisiana, and then began to move them into impacted areas to provide emergency medical assistance.

-FEMA also provided moving supplies and equipment into the hardest hit areas as quickly as possible -- truckloads of water, ice, meals, medical supplies, generators, tents and tarps.

- over 1,700 trailer trucks which had been mobilized to move these supplies into position.

-The Coast Guard had worked heroically for 48 hours rescuing or assisting well more than 1,000 people who were in distress and held high and dry above the flood waters.

-In addition, Coast Guard ships, boats and aircraft continue to support FEMA, state and local authorities, with rescue and recovery efforts which are continuing to go on. The Coast Guard has activated three National Strike Teams to help in the removal of hazardous material. Ships and boats continue to support the national relief effort.

- a network of 40 medical shelters had been erected with a capacity collectively of 10,000 beds staffed by some 4,000 qualified medical personnel. By August 31st, first of them had been in place , we are treating patients in the Baton Rouge area..

-Within 72 hours,( by Sept 3) we anticipate another ten of the shelters will be stood up and will be operational. We're focusing first on military facilities that we'll be able to detail later this afternoon.

-Within 100 hours(by Sept 4) of the first ten being done, we will follow with a second ten and so forth. Patients that are requiring additional treatment beyond that which will be available at these medical shelters will be transported to hospitals throughout the country. We've identified 2,600 beds in hospitals in the 12 state area. In addition to that, we've identified 40,000 beds nationwide, should they be needed.

-We continue to ship pallets of basic first aid material and medical supplies to the area. The Center for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration are assembling public health teams. We are gravely concerned about the potential for cholera, typhoid and dehydrating diseases that could come as a result of the stagnant water and the conditions.

-The CDC and the Food and Drug Administration will be focusing on chemical and toxicology matters. We'll be also working with local officials on sanitation and on food safety. We're concerned about mosquito abatement, and our teams will be focused to assist local officials on those points.

The Department of Transportation(DOT) had in place a three fold objective:

- First, as an immediate and urgent matter, they were working with their colleagues at the federal Cabinet level to move emergency supplies into the region and assist with the evacuation.

-By August 31w5, they had shipped 13.4 million liters of water, 10,000 tarps, 3.4 million pounds of ice and 144 generators, among other essential supplies.

-Secondly, the DOT was working to restore at least minimal transportation infrastructure in the region. That includes highways, airports, seaports, and oil pipelines.

-They had deployed teams from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to the region, and were working closely with Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama state officials to clear roads and inspect bridges, establish communications and increase operations at major airports, and to move generators to pipeline pumping stations to restore the flow of petroleum products to the Southeast.

-The DOT was also looking at maritime assets to deploy to New Orleans to reestablish port operations.

-And finally, they were beginning the process of evaluating the total damage and needs for long-term rebuilding.

Now remember all the above had been IN PLACE prior to and by August 31st.

Let that sink into the minds of all those left wing liberals and dumocrats, INCLUDING Katie Couric, that bitch Soledad OBrien and her partner in crime Miles OBrien both at CNN, who spent hours pushing forth their "Bush Bashing Agenda" by attempting to paint the Bush administration as uncaring and incompetant during all their newscasts. The stories they produced were so obviously biased and filled with non- facts, hyperbole, and twisted truths, aimed at deliberately deceiving viewers!

And if THAT wasn't enough..... Soledad took things one step farther by verbally assaulting Mike Brown, the Director of FEMA, in one of the most unprofessional, over emotional and down right rude interviews I've ever seen.

No wonder Bill Hemmer LEFT and JOINED FOX NEWS!

CNN's Soledad, Miles, and their homeboy, Jack Cafferty, as well as NBC's Katie Couric- DISFUCKINGUSTING!

If doctors or lawyers acted in that manner - lying, deliberately deceiving people, twisting truths, breaking the rules of professionalism required by their industry - they would no longer be allowed to practice their professions. I think that should happen with journalists - especially these four!

Now here is what the Department of Defense have been doing, not only over the past several days, but, in fact, over the past several weeks as they anticipated Katrina's impact.

-Admiral Tim Keating - the Combatant Commander of the United States Northern Command- formed - at the direction of the Secretary of Defense, - a joint task force, JTF Katrina. It is commanded by Lieutenant General Honore, United States Army, ordinarily the commander of the First Army, now commanding, for the time being, the JTF that has been formed specifically for the tactical response, regarding this relief effort.

Lieutenant General Honore (by August 31st) had already been at Camp Shelby, Mississippi, for several days, and remains there now, where he is closely coordinating with his FEMA counterparts.

Here is a very succinct summary of some of the kinds of capabilities that by August 31st had been provided, or were in the process of being provided:

- fleet of approximately 50 helicopters to support FEMA's operations. That would include aerial assessment of damage, movement of FEMA personnel and other interagency partners who, for reasons that are obvious, had difficulty achieving ground transportation.

- from California eight civilian swift water rescue teams had been transported to assist those civilians who were/are still trapped by the collected water. We anticipate providing from the Department of Defense a 500-bed mobile hospital. That will be deployed in the New Orleans area. We may provide -- it's under active consideration -- as many as 800 personnel to assist the American Red Cross with shelter support.

-Some of you may have seen media broadcasts that relate to the movement of United States Naval Forces. That reflected again the proactive, very aggressive message given by the Secretary of Defense that JTF Katrina are not to merely be passive in our response to FEMA requests for assistance, but as a fully cooperating partner to anticipate the kinds of needs that FEMA may bring to our attention, and to put in place in a forward-deployed status those kinds of DOD capabilities that will likely be called upon.

-by August 31st JTF Katrina had begun moving to the area approximately eight ships that have various competencies in terms of medical support, humanitarian relief, transportation in a maritime environment and had been " forward-deploying everything that we think might be required by FEMA. And we'll be fully prepared to respond to FEMA's request for assistance when they inevitably are forthcoming."

-JTF Katrina anticipated the movement of the hospital ship USNS Comfort from Baltimore, Maryland to the Gulf region. It departed September 2nd, and likely arrive in the Gulf region on the 8th of September.

- As of August 31st, there were more than 11,000 National Guard in state status deployed in and around the affected area providing humanitarian relief, assistance in maintaining civil order. Those Guard personnel are currently under the command and control of the governors of the affected states.

- By August 31st - JTF Katrina had already been identifying medical specialties that FEMA may have needed.

- Prior to Katrina hitting Th Gulf, JTF Katrina had in excess of 1.5 million cases of pre-packaged MREs in the event that that food was required..

Now - with regards to looting and other crimes that had been anticipated and obviously occured " If, for some reason it does appear the level of criminal threat exceeds the immediate capability of civilian law enforcement, the National Guard in state status, under command and control of the Governor -- not under command and control of the Secretary of Defense -- can work side by side, lawfully, with civilian law enforcement agencies, police officers, to maintain public order." "And although we don't expect that to happen in this case, we do have units that are on alert, as we always have such units on alert, prepared to deploy in order to use active duty military forces for the lawful restoration of civil order."

"But those are the three tiers -- civilian law enforcement, the National Guard in state status, and then ultimately, under extraordinary circumstances, active duty military forces, as we have used those military forces -- rarely -- but have used them in the past"

Question: What's your assessment of the status of the National Guard in that region, though? We've been hearing so much about the deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan -- do you have a deep enough bench to also do this domestic function?

Assistant Secretary McHale: The simple answer to that question is, yes, we do have a deep enough bench. I looked at the figures this morning and as of late this morning,(August 31st) 60 percent of the Louisiana and Mississippi members of the Guard, between 60 and 65 percent, would be available for state active duty under command and control of the Governor.

So despite the fact that significant portions of these Guard units are currently deployed overseas, a very robust capability remains within the affected states, and in fact, as I said, we're now using more than 11,000 of those forces for missions to include security and law enforcement in those areas. But again, I emphasize, that's under command and control of the Governor, not the Secretary of Defense.

Let me invite General Scherling up here, who can comment upon the availability, the training and the authorities of the National Guard in these areas.

General Scherling: Yes, the National Guard would be able to assist the states at the Governor's request. I would also add that the active duty military and the National Guard provide a deep bench for any of the missions that are requested by FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security. And so we are prepared to anticipate those requests.

Question: Secretary Chertoff, will you walk us through some specifics in terms of the types of housing that might be made available? You're talking about a whole city, essentially, that's been evacuated. Where are those people going to go, and how do they go about getting the resources?

Secretary Chertoff: That's, obviously, a huge challenge. It's going to be addressed in a number of ways. First of all, there were people who obeyed the instruction to evacuate, which was issued on Sunday, or who perhaps anticipated the news. They got out; they found themselves hotel rooms, maybe they moved in with family. We have teams that are assembling that will give them what they need in terms of assistance for temporary rental housing, things of that sort.

Then there are people who we had to evacuate after the storm. Those people will be -- their needs will be addressed in a number of ways. Those in the Superdome are going to be going to the Astrodome, and we're going to be standing up facilities there to take care of their needs. Others may, in fact, go to trailers that are assembled. I spoke with the Governor of Alabama; he offered -- they have state park cabins that are -- can be made available for people who need places to stay.

We have a housing task force which is in the process of identifying all the locations and different kinds of housing assets we can bring to bear. We recognize that this is a two-step process. There's the immediate process of moving people and sheltering them for a relatively brief period of time. Then, given the nature of the damage, we anticipate there will be somewhat more intermediate or semi-permanent housing that will have to be available, and I think that is a process we're deeply engaged in with the other departments of government and taking a look at.

Question: Can you explain the chain of command in this first use of the law? Are you in charge of local and state officials? And if there's any conflict between you and the locals and state, how does that get worked out? Also, what's your relationship to the Defense Department in this --

Secretary Chertoff: Let me try to explain this -- and this is -- this shouldn't be news because it's been a plan that's been public for many months. First of all, we come in to assist state and local authorities. Under the Constitution, state and local authorities have the principal, first-line response obligation with respect to a disaster of this kind. Obviously, the law recognizes they can't do it themselves, so we have a very detailed system of plans that allow us to work with them. We coordinate our response at DHS through FEMA.

Under the National Response Plan, all the departments of government play a role in the federal response to a disaster.So it's a team effort. And like any team, everybody has a position to play, and the head of the team is the President. And the President has, of course, the ultimate responsibility for all of the federal effort here. I can tell you the President is very deeply and personally involved in the details of what we're doing. We're going to be meeting with him later today. And, of course, again, I want to emphasize, the federal government does not supersede the state and local government, we fit with the state and local government in a comprehensive, response plan.

I hope that this post has CLEARLY proven that the responsibility fell SQARELY on the shoulders of the Mayor of New Orleans and The Governer of Louisianna when it came to making key decisions, and mobilizing the National Guard. As soon as they were aware of the looting and lawlessness both in New Orleans and the horrific conditions inside the Superdome, both of them had the responsibility and POWER to mobilize more National Guard, and to work with FEMA and DHS, in getting ALL the help they required!

All the BUSH BLAMING and BUSH BASHING done by the liberal Media, the Mayor of New Orleans, and indulged in by democrats across the country, was a blantant attempt at once again trying to discredit this President in the eyes of Americans and the world. The Mayor knew what needed to be done..and he failed at his responsibility! Several days prior to Katrina hitting, the President declared a State Of Emergency so as to sent into motion the necessary resources!

I am appalled that these sad excuses for human beings would use this horrific catastrophe to play politics and further their careers at the expense of the victims!!!. This is a NEW LOW even for Liberals, Dumocrats, and the MSM! Its vile, its wretched, and its speaks to the pond scum mentality of people, who have let their personal hatred for this President fester so deeply into their hearts that they will use ANY opportunity, including this unprecedented natural disastor, to spew forth their hate filled agenda based on lies they create, as they deliberately overlook the truth, in an attempt to deceive their viewers! DISFUCKINGUSTING!!!

You can read the entire transcript of the DHS(Dept of Homeland Security) Press Conference,which took place August 31st, here .


KOS, known for attracting the "I Hate Bush" Moonbats to his Daily Kos blog, has once again printed yet another lie.

This time KOS claimed that Homeland Security refused to allow BC's Urban Search and Rescue Team into LaFayette, Louisianna to help, claiming that information came from "a canadian source."

Wanna know what THIS canadian has to say:


This was yet another bogus attempt at KOS' favorite pastime: Bush Bashing. The Canadian team left Wednesday without delay, and have been working with Louisiana State Troopers, as well as the National Guard.

British Columbia's Heavy Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) left for Lafayette, La. Wednesday night after being asked by state officials for assistance.On Thursday, the team was in Kenner, La. -- a small city of about 75,000 on the Mississippi River's East Bank -- where police described the violence and looting as "out of control".

Here is the complete article disproving the bullshit that KOS attempted to perpetuate. Lets see if KOS will actually offer an apology and retraction! Doubtful since the whole post was set up to allow Bush Bashing terrorist loving jerks to continue to spew their vitrolic crap about the President and the Administration

Imagine Daily Kos taking advantage of a horrific catastrophe to further their Bush Bashing agenda.


And speaking of DISFUCKINGUSTING - Kanye West

He managed to RUIN a moving event meant to raise money to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Instead of calls offering up donations, NBC received calls from ANGRY mortified Americans!

What really annoys me is that this asshat was considered by TIME to be "the smartest man in pop music". As compared to WHO? Michael Jackson?

Kanye has his own clothing line so instead of spewing off his inflamatory lies, why didn't he offer up his entire clothing line for free to those he calls " my people".

KUDOS to NBC for releasing this statement that exemplifies the spirit of this event:

"Tonight's telecast was a live television event wrought with emotion. Kanye West departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him, and his opinions in no way represent the views of the networks. It would be most unfortunate if the efforts of the artists who participated tonight and the generosity of millions of Americans who are helping those in need are overshadowed by one person's opinion.

And KUDOS to The Red Cross for issuing this statement:

The American Red Cross is incredibly grateful for the support we’re receiving in the wake of the catastrophic events caused by Hurricane Katrina. We want to acknowledge the ongoing support of NBC-Universal, which aired a telethon tonight on behalf of the victims of this tragedy.

During the telecast, a controversial comment was made by one of the celebrities. We would like the American public to know that our support is unwavering, regardless of political circumstances. We are a neutral and impartial organization, and support disaster victims across the country regardless of race, class, color or creed. We cannot, and we do not endorse any comments of a political nature.